Arbitrator backs Woodside in Senegal tussle
PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The International Arbitration Court has backed oil and gas major Woodside in a dispute with fellow listed FAR.
Woodside and FAR are joint venture (JV) partners in the Sangomar field development, offshore Senegal.
Woodside in 2016 struck a deal with then JV partner ConocoPhillips Senegal to acquire its interest in Senegal for a purchase price of $350-million plus net customary adjustments of some $90-million.
The Senegal assets included a 35% working interest in three offshore exploration blocks; Rufisque, Sangomra and Sangomar Deep, that contain the SNE and FAN deep water oil discoveries.
Following the transaction, however, FAR claimed that it was not provided with proper pre-emptive rights over the assets in which it JV’d, including the SNE oilfield.
The matter was brought before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, and heard in July of last year.
The tribunal has now found in favour of Woodside, declaring that FAR did not have a pre-emption right over the transaction, while also rejecting FAR’s other claims.
The tribunal has ordered the parties to provide their view on the next procedural steps arising from the decision within 45 days.
Woodside on Friday said that it was committed to progress work on the Sangomar field development, where a final investment decision was taken in January this year.
FAR, for its part, said that it was evaluating its position.
The government of Senegal earlier this year approved the Rufisque offshore, Sangomar offshore and Sangomar Deep offshore JV exploitation plan, and granted authorization for the Sangomar field development.
The Sangomar development concept is a standalone floating production storage and offloading facility with 23 subsea wells and supporting subsea infrastructure, with the facility expected to have a production capacity of 100 000 barrels a day, and would process the oil before it is exported to market via tanks.
Phase 1 of the development will target an estimated 231-million barrels of oil equivalent of oil resources from the lower, less complex reservoirs, and an initial pilot phase in the upper reservoirs.
First oil is targeted for 2023.